Merson urges Arsenal to sign Chelsea striker in the summer to ‘help’ their ‘bare’ squad
Paul Merson thinks Arsenal still need a new centre forward in the summer transfer window and recommends Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku.
The Gunners led the Premier League for most of the season before their form over the last month or so let them down at a crucial stage in the season to hand the title to Manchester City.
Arsenal have been quite lucky with injuries this season, although William Saliba’s time out impacted displays towards the end of the campaign, but there is a feeling the Gunners need to improve their squad ahead of next season.
Mikel Arteta could sign as many as three new midfielders in the summer transfer window, according to the latest reports, but Merson reckons a new centre forward, who can score 25 goals a season, will be essential too.
Lukaku, who has been on loan at Inter Milan from Chelsea all season, could be available in the summer and Merson reckons the Belgium international “might help” Arsenal.
“Arsenal need a centre forward,” Merson told GiveMeSport. “They need someone who is going to get them 25 goals a season.
“I’m not having a go at Gabriel Jesus. He’s a very good player and he’s been a brilliant signing. But he’s not going to get you the goals you need on his own.
“The other day against Brighton, I don’t remember him ever looking like scoring. Jesus can play anywhere. So if you buy a striker he could still get in the team. He could play with a striker.
“Arsenal’s squad is bare. It wasn’t strong enough to win the league. They need to buy players. Top quality players.
“Manchester City are head and shoulders above everybody. So you need to get stronger just to compete.
“Ivan Toney would have suited Arsenal, but that won’t happen now because of his ban.
“Romelu Lukaku might be available. The 30-year-old is an out-and-out centre-forward. He will stay up front and back into players. That might help Arsenal.”
Lukaku recently praised Thierry Henry for the impact he had on him during the Arsenal legend’s time as assistant manager of the Belgium national team.
When asked whether he misses working with Henry, Lukaku replied: “Yeah I do. [Thierry is] very, very old school and strict. When we met I was at Everton, I think it was my last season. I told him ‘you know what, I want to hear it from you. Give me the business. What can I do better?’
“We sat together every day for that training camp. Eight days, two hours – watching every game and every clip… ‘There your touch was bad, there you did well’.
“It was always half-and-half. And I had my best year in the Premier League that year. And then with the national side I started scoring every game. I’m very grateful to him – he still does it today.
“I like it. Tough coaches who tell me the real things I want to hear. You don’t want to be pampered all the time, I think.”
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